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January 30, 2018


Legislative Update
Army Update
Naval Services Update
Air Force Update

Military Life
Jobs on the Hill
Law Reviews

Henry J. Reilly Scholarship Program for the
2018-19 Academic Year is Open

The Henry J. Reilly Scholarship Program for the 2018-19 Academic Year is now open. Applications are due by April 18, 2018, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time Zone.

The applicant portal link is

In its second year within ROA’s program of revitalizing, for academic year 2017-2018, ROA will award up to twenty $2500 scholarships to students pursuing courses of study leading to certificate, associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees.

“We are excited to offer up to twice as many Henry J. Reilly scholarships this year as last,” said ROA’s President, retired USAF Lt. Col. Donald Stockton. “General Reilly prized education and one of ROA’s priorities is helping members with professional development and self-improvement. This program is of great benefit to ROA members and their families.” READ MORE >

Legislative Update

ROA op-ed on harmful shutdown published in Washington

On January 29, an ROA opinion piece written by executive director Jeff Phillips on the recent three-day federal government shutdown’s impact on the Reserve and National Guard was published by The Hill, a major news publication in Washington, D.C., read throughout the political milieu.

The purpose of the op-ed was to bring immediate attention to members of Congress on the negative impact a federal shutdown has on training, readiness and mobilization. Specifically citing a Navy, Air Force and Army representative directly impacted, the article emphasized that great damage is caused when legislators cannot reach agreements on government spending levels. Not only does a government shutdown hurt national security and military preparedness, it also has immediate impacts families of those serving.

The solution, ROA contends, is to produce a biennial military personnel funding bill that would reduce these disruptions to military readiness and care for military families. Such a two-year allocation would reduce the risk of a shutdown interrupting reserve component training and denting family finances. More stable funding also would give Pentagon leaders more predictability and would help increase readiness. READ MORE>

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Reserve Component Mobilizations — By the Numbers
(as of 23 January 2018)

The Department of Defense publishes contingency activations of the Reserve Components on a weekly basis. When DoD considered stopping the contingency reporting earlier in 2017, ROA was instrumental in pressing DoD to keep it as a reporting requirement. This information is important because Congress uses this information to gauge how the Reserve Component is being used for operational missions which results in authorizations and appropriations.

Additionally, this report reminds the President and Congress that the Reserve Component is still being used for contingency activations despite years of drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Army Reserve Update

NY National Guardsmen Ready to Bring Home Olympic Gold

(Photo: U.S. Army)

Four New York Army National Guard Soldiers will compete in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month.

The four New York Citizen Soldiers are enrolled in the Army's World Class Athletes program. They also serve in units of the New York Army National Guard.

Sgt. Emily Sweeney, who is assigned to New York Army National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, and lives in Suffield, Connecticut, will be part of the United States Luge team. Sgt. Matthew Mortensen, a member of the 1156th Engineer Company, headquartered in Kingston, N.Y. and lives in Lake Placid, N.Y., will also be part of the United States Luge team. Sgt. Justin Olsen, assigned to New York Army National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, and a Lake Placid resident, will be part of the United States Bobsled Team. Sgt. Nick Cunningham, assigned to the New York Army National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, and a Lake Placid resident, will also be part of the United States Bobsled Team.

The Army World Class Athlete Program, is a military detachment run by the U.S. Army Installation Management Command. It was established by the Army to support Public Law 84-11, which allows the Army to provide Soldiers - including those in the National Guard and Reserves - an opportunity to train for and participate in the Pan American Games, World Championships and Olympic and Paralympic competitions.

The World Class Athlete Program detachment was established in 1997 in Fort Carson, Colorado, near the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Most Soldiers in the program are assigned to the detachment and train on Fort Carson or at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Others train with the U.S. national team for their specific sport. On average, there are between 40 and 60 Soldiers in the detachment. Soldiers must be nationally ranked in their chosen sport to be considered for the program.

Governor Calls Out National Guard to Help Motorists

(Photo: CBS Minnesota)

A fierce storm produced more than a foot of snow in some parts of Minnesota last week, where authorities advised against travel and schools closed, once again, during the long, grueling winter.

The fierce winter storm prompted Gov. Mark Dayton to issue an emergency order. Dayton declared the emergency and called out the National Guard to help with recovery and sheltering of stranded motorists in parts of central and southeastern Minnesota.

A winter storm dumped almost a foot of snow on many parts of the state, and strong winds caused visibility to be dramatically reduced. Major highway routes were closed or considered hazardous due to drifting snow and compacted ice on surfaces. Emergency shelters were opened in many communities throughout the state. Dayton’s order was required to make sure the Guard was mobilized and reimbursed for costs
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Naval Services Update

After 70 Years, WWII Navy Reservist Finally Receives Purple Heart

On January 27th, a World War II veteran in South Dakota was awarded a Purple Heart, 73 years after the incident that earned him the military honor.

On Sunday, April 1, 1945, Sylcan Vigness was 21 years old, serving as a signalman on the U.S.S. Hindsale. That day, he warned the crew of an incoming Kamikase attack.

“He had to jump from the top of the ship into the water and he always said he never knew if he was going to come back up or not,” Sylvan’s grandson Andrew Vigness stated. Sylvan Vigness was rescued from the water but suffered an injury to his eye; despite the loss of his vision in one eye, he continued to serve on the U.S.S. Hinsdale during World War II.

“That is why it is so important that you and your family are finally receiving your purple heart today,” U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) said. “We are all here to honor you and thank you for your service and your sacrifice.” The challenge in securing this Purple Heart was the lack of paperwork documenting Sylvan's injury, according to the U.S. Navy.

After 20 years of failed attempts from several members of Congress, Senator Rounds made that persistence pay off by working directly with the new secretary of the Navy to finally present the 94-year-old veteran with the Purple Heart.

Many veterans and state leaders came out to the Purple Heart ceremony in Flandrea, S.D. at the Navy Operation Support Center to show their respect for his service.

“Recognizing an individual for a sacrifice he made over 70 years ago, and has lived with since that time, now at last we can give him his due,” Governor Dennis Daugaard (R-S.D.) said.

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Reserve Marines Test Their Limits in Exercise Nordic Frost 18

(Photo: USMC)

In the mountainous terrain of northern Vermont, where temperatures drop below freezing and the snow covers the landscape, Marines were pushed to their limits as they battled against the extreme winter weather.

Marines with 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, pushed through frigid conditions as they participated in the two-week exercise Nordic Frost on Camp Ethan Allen, Jan. 13-27, 2018.

The goal was to improve the unit’s environmental capabilities by testing their squad and fire team level of defensive tactics in a winter environment.

This cold environment adds additional training to the operations the Marines would otherwise not see in warmer weather conditions. Leadership at all levels must ensure that all training was conducted in a safe manner. The Marines conducted exercises such as land navigation, marksmanship training, demolitions, call-for-fire training and other core competencies.

Experiencing the cold weather training gave the Marines the confidence to trust that no matter what the conditions are, their equipment and gear, from weapons to warming layers, are effective in any clime and place.

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Air Force Update

Minneapolis More than Just a Home for the Superbowl

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon

It seems like whenever you turn on the radio or the television there is talk about Superbowl LII in Minneapolis but the Reserve servicemembers who live there also save lives. Earlier this month two members with the fire department went to pick-up lunch and arrived just in time to help save a woman’s life by administering CPR while they waited for emergency responders.

Last C-130H Departs North Carolina

Photo by Staff Sgt. Laura J. Montgomery

The North Carolina Air National Guard unit flew the last C-130 Hercules aircraft to the boneyard as they transition to the C-17 mission. The transition will increase the number of personnel assigned to the base and the structures which will be needed to accommodate a different flying platform.

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Military Life

File Taxes for Free

Courtesy Photo

Military OneSource is providing free tax filing for military serving on active duty, including Reserve and National Guard, as well as, recently retired or separated members.

Take Command: Urgent Care Is Now Easier to Access!

As of Jan. 1, 2018, most TRICARE Prime enrollees no longer need a referral for urgent care visits and point of service charges no longer apply for urgent care claims. This change replaces the previous policy which waived referrals for the first two urgent care visits per year. Active duty service members (ADSMs) should continue to visit military hospitals and clinics for care. ADSMs enrolled in TRICARE Prime Remote who do not live near a military hospital or clinic do not need a referral when seeking an urgent care visit.

“We wanted our service members’ families and others to have easier access to urgent care,” explained Mr. Ken Canestrini, acting director, TRICARE Health Plan within the Defense Health Agency. “Beneficiaries can go visit an urgent care center right away anytime they have a need.”

If you use
TRICARE Select or any other TRICARE plan, you may visit any TRICARE-authorized provider, network or non-network, for urgent care.

Urgent care is care you need for a non-emergency illness or injury requiring treatment within 24 hours. Examples of urgent care conditions include a sprain, rising temperature or sore throat. It isn’t an emergency and doesn’t threaten life, limb or eyesight.

If you’re unsure whether to seek urgent care, call the 24/7
Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273)—Option 1. You’ll speak with a registered nurse who can answer your questions and give advice. The nurse can also assist you with finding a provider and scheduling an appointment.

If you need care after hours, while traveling or if your primary care manager is unavailable, urgent care is a great option. Contact your
regional contractor to help you find an appropriate urgent care facility or provider. You may also use the TRICARE provider search tool.

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New Joint DoD-VA Online tool for Veteran Discharge Upgrade Applications

The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have launched a web-based tool that will provide customized guidance to veterans who want to upgrade or change the conditions of their military discharge.

Now, by answering a few short questions, veterans will know which board they need to go to, what form to fill out, any special guidance applicable to their case, where to send their application, and some helpful tips for appealing their discharge. Any veterans who believe their discharge was unjust, erroneous, or warrants an upgrade are encouraged to use this tool and then apply for review.

This tool can be found on at:

The link is also available on Military OneSource ( and each of the military review board's websites. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (pdf)
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On the path forward, we've got your back.

Support from the USO doesn’t end when you leave the military. USO Pathfinder helps you plan for what's next. USO Pathfinder Scouts connect you with the services, opportunities and resources that are the best fit for you and your family. MORE AT USO.ORG >

VET To CEO free entrepreneur program Tuesdays on the web

VET To CEO is a free weekly webinar comprising seven two-hour programs that introduce the vet to the world of small business and entrepreneurship. Tuesday, January 30, is the third program; previous programs are cached and available.

"I watched the second program and will follow the series,"said ROA's executive director, Jeff Phillips, who is mentoring a Virginia veteran in charge of an entrepreneurial company. "For the vet starting out in business, this is a good foundation; I
recommend it." READ MORE >

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Jobs on the Hill
Three good sources for legislative related job opportunities

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Law Reviews:
Legal analysis on the issues impacting your life in and out of uniform

Former Service Member’s Law Center director, retired USNR Capt. Sam Wright, provides periodic law review updates. Please see ROA’s Law Center webpage for more information on service members’ law.

No. 18008 What Is the Federal Veterans’ Preference Act?
No. 18009 VPA Protects Federal Employee from RIF
No. 18010 Can I Use Veterans' Preference To Avoid a Layoff in a RIF?
No. 18011 Section 4303(1) of USERRA , Definition of "Attorney General
No. 18012 Section 4303(2) of USERRA, Definition of "Benefit" of Employment
No. 18013 Does USERRA Forbid Employer Harassment of Employees because of their Reserve Component Service? Congress Amends the Definition of "Benefit of Employment" To Clarify that the Answer Is Yes.
No. 18014 Escalator Principle Applies to Army Physician

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To publish your reunion notice in Reserve Voice, email or send by mail to
ROA Reunion Notice
1 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

11th Airborne Division Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter; 11th Air Assault Division, and 187th Airborne RCT Annual Los Banos Reunion
Date: February 24-28, 2018 • Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
POC: Joseph W. Cole • email: • Phone: 502-641-2631

2018 U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Alumni Association (USAOCSAA) Reunion
DATE: March 25-29, 2018 • Location: Columbus, Ga.

Housing: Columbus Marriott Hotel
POC: Nancy Ionoff • Phone: 813-917-4309

12th TFW, MacDill AFB, FL; Cam Ranh AB & Phu Cat AB; 389 TFS & 480 TFS, Da Nang, Vietnam; 555th TFS 1964-66 and 12th FEW/SFW (Bergstrom AFB, TX & Korea), and all supporting units
Date: 4 – 7 April 2018 • Location: Tucson, AZ
Contact: E. J. Sherwood • email: • Phone: 480-396-4681

USS Carpenter DD825
April 19-23, 2018
Ramada Inn, San Diego, CA
Contact Jimmie Kennedy
Ph: 714-776-4019 email:

USS San Marcos (LSD-25) Reunion

Date: May 4-6, 2018 • Sheraton Society Hill, Philadelphia, PA
Contact: Jack Lieberman

Society of the First Infantry Division, "Big Red One" 2018 Reunion
August 1-5, 2018
Westin Lombard, Ambler PA 19002
Contact • PH 215-654-1969

U.S.S. John R. Craig DD885
September 5-9, 2018
Bloomington, Minnesota
Contact Jerry Chwalek
Email: • 734-525-1469

USS Taylor (DD/DDE-468)

Date: 07-11 October, 2018 • Location: Colorado Springs, CO
POC: CDR James G. O'Neill USNR-RET
Email: • Phone: 804-212-8911

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